Neuralink Brain Implant Given ‘OK’ For 2nd Patient

( – The controversial brain chip technology developed by billionaire Elon Musk known as Neuralink was just approved for a test run in a second patient to try and correct errors from the first human trial.

The company announced earlier this month that tiny wires from the chip implanted in the first patient, 29-year-old Noland Arbough, moved out of place. According to a report a week later, developers were aware of a possible malfunction with tiny wires in the Neuralink that could develop in human patients, a risk that was discovered during animal trials.

The next trial will attempt to fix this problem from the first trial by embedding some of the wires for the device deeper into the subject’s brain. That implantation is scheduled for June. Neuralink has plans to implant the device into at least 10 people before the end of the year, and over 1,000 quadriplegics have reportedly signed up the company’s patient registry to try out the brain chip.

Neuralink plans to continue expanding trials. The company will submit applications to regulators in Britain and Canada sometime this year to start similar trials in those nations. The experiment entails using a special robot to surgically implant the chip which acts as an interface between the brain and computers. The device is placed in the brain’s area controlling the intention to move.

In February, Neuralink revealed that Arbough could use the brain chip to operate a computer mouse with their thoughts without any “ill effects.” By March, the quadriplegic was playing chess on the computer.

Theoretically, it could be used to control robotic limbs for people without limbs, and perhaps be developed further to enable the use of robotic eyes for people who are blind. Androids and other concepts that seemed like sci-fi are becoming reality.

The technology raises all sorts of interesting questions about beneficial medical applications while also raising ethical concerns about the rapid expansion of computer technology and how it has negatively impacted the human psyche and society. Alongside brain chips, humans are also improving upon artificial intelligence (AI) systems, which raise similar concerns.

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